Ladybird Beetle Wasp
Location: Calgary, AB
Date: June 6, 2007
       Photo 1

Ladybird Beetle Wasp

Common Name:  Ladybird Beetle Wasp

Latin Name:  Dinocampus coccinellae Schrank, 1802
(R. Bercha, det.)

Length:  ~4 mm

Range:  Throughout Alberta

Habitat:  Various

Time of year seen:  Spring to Fall

Larva:  Parasites of Lady Beetles

Other:  Dinocampus coccinellae belongs to the family braconidae, a family of tiny parasitic wasps.  The wasp oviposits a single egg into an adult ladybird beetle.  Interestingly, the Seven-spot ladybug seems to be the preferred host.  5 to 7 days after, the egg hatches and the larvae emerges and begins to consume the ladybugs body fat and gonads.   The larva does not eat the ladybugs vital organs and as such the ladybug will live for a short time after the larva emerges.  Upon reaching maturity (18 to 27 days) the larva severs the nerves to the ladybugs legs and emerges to spin a cocoon below the ladybird, attaching it to a leaf or tree trunk.   The ladybugs bold red and black warning colors may serve to keep predators away until the wasp emerges in 6 to 9 days. (Geoghegan, I., Scottish Crop Research Institute)


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